New Delhi, Aug 6: Opposition candidate C.M. Ramesh of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) on Monday got the highest number of votes, 106, in the Rajya Sabha and was elected to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC). Balloting was held to fill two vacancies in the PAC from the Upper House. The Bharatiya Janata Party's Bhupender Yadav also made it to the Committee with 69 votes. However, Harviansh of the Janata Dal-United (JD-U), who was also fielded as a NDA (National Democratic Alliance) candidate, lost badly getting just 26 votes. The opposition celebrated its little victory, terming it as a "blow" to the ruling dispensation and as a sign of unity by the opposition.
"It was the BJP, particularly its chief Amit Shah, who insisted on an election. We had tried to persuade the BJP that one MP each from the ruling and opposition camps can be named against the two vacancies and an election should be normally avoided. But he insisted on a contest. So here is the result," a senior opposition leader who did not wish to be named commented. Meanwhile, Trinamool Congress leader Derek O'Brien took to Twitter to celebrate the opposition's unity.
"Hurrah! Opposition candidate sweeps PAC election... BJP/NDA candidates left way behind. MPs in Rajya Sabha were the voters. True opposition unity ensured C.M. Ramesh of TDP got 106 votes. BJP got 69, NDA ally JD-U 26," O'Brien tweeted. The PAC, currently headed by senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, draws 15 Members from the Lok Sabha and seven from the Rajya Sabha.